People often assume that flying by private jet is a hobby only affordable to the super rich. Whilst there is inevitably an inherent cost, it is possible to travel by private jet at a cost that is less painful for your wallet than you might expect. Here are some tips we can recommend if you want to try and secure yourself a jet at the best price:
1. Make the most of empty legsEmpty legs are re-positioning flights. Once an aircraft has delivered its passengers to their destination, the aircraft will often have to relocate to a new destination to pick up fresh passengers, or return to its home base. Aircraft operators charge a fraction of their usual prices to fill their seats on these flights, meaning you are often able to fly privately at the cost of a standard business class flight or less.
2. Fill up the aircraftCharter quotes are provided on the full cost of hiring an aircraft, including fuel costs (the bulk of the price), staff costs (pilots and any cabin crew), and commission, to name but a few. This cost will largely remain the same whether there is one person on board or nine. Whilst there are some variables, the more seats that are occupied, the cheaper the cost per head will be – so if you and some friends are treating yourself to the holiday of a lifetime, it makes sense to fill up that aeroplane and keep your costs down.
3. Fly from established private jet hubs. There are certain airports that have more private jet movements than others. The very nature of the fact that a large number of private aircraft will be coming and going from these airports, as well as a good number being based at them, increases dramatically your chance of being able to quickly pick up an empty leg if one becomes available.
4. Be flexible on timings and plan aheadKeep an eye on a general time when you would like to travel. If you’re able to anticipate roughly when you would like to fly, but can be a little flexible on the exact timing, you will in all likelihood be able to secure an empty leg to where you want to be. This is all the more likely if there is some flexibility in your destination (for example by being prepared to fly to Cannes rather than Nice), and if you intend to fly to an area well serviced by private jets during a period of high volume, such as the south of France during the summer months.
5. Book in advanceFailing all of the above, as is true with most things in life the earlier you book the better value you will see. If you are able to book early, aircraft brokers and operators will be vying for your business, and you are likely to receive the most competitive quotes available. On shorter notice, less aircraft are available, and the chances of a substantial re-positioning on the part of those that are available become higher, all translating into a higher cost to you.
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